Basmati Rice

Making good rice is one of those things which seems like it should be easy, but is often a real challenge. I’ve made rice a million times and I always make it the same way. I use one cup of rice for 2-3 people, and 2 cups for 4-5 people. Be careful in adding the salt – you add one tsp for the first cup, but only  1/2 tsp more for 2 cups.

People are daunted by the idea of rinsing rice, but it’s easy.  Here’s how I do it:

Put 1 cup basmati rice in a sauce pan, and fill it about half full of warm water. Swirl the rice around with your hand.

Pour out most of the water, until the rice is just about to pour out. Cup your free hand loosely under the flow of water, with fingers slightly open so the water can drain through. That way you catch any rice that pours out, and just toss it back in the pan. Rinse and drain the rice one more time.

Add 1 7/8 cup of water  (just shy of two cups, basically), 1 tsp salt and 1 Tbsp of butter to the pan. (Butter is not traditional in Pakistan, but it is in New Orleans rice and we love the addition.)

Bring to a boil on the stove, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

Just remember:  if you double the recipe, don’t double the salt. Just add 1/2 tsp salt for each additional cup of rice.

Delicious Variation:  Make rice with chicken broth and 1/2 cup frozen peas.

Kumy always adds 1″ of cinnamon, a green cardamom and a teaspoon of whole black peppercorns. Yum.

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